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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

9 Ways to Stop Complicating Life and Start Living

9 Ways to Stop Complicating Life and Start Living

Yes, we’ve all been there—those times when life seems so incredibly complicated that we have no idea what we should be doing next. These are the moments where you need to pause, take a breath, and relax. Because the truth is, we often overcomplicate things. We prevent ourselves from clearly visualizing the problem because we panic.

In this article, I am going to walk you through some of the ways that you can stop complicating life and begin truly living.

Sounds pretty awesome right? Let’s get right into it!

1. You’re a Work in Progress

Look, you’re a work in progress, and you likely always will be. It’s time for you to accept that fact. The beauty is that you’re not alone. Everyone else on this planet is in the same boat. If our ships are sinking on this issue, we’re sinking together.

Remember, just because you’re a work in progress doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. It simply highlights that you’re still trying to improve and that you have more to learn. If you aren’t a work in progress at this point, I feel truly sorry for you. You’re missing out.

Overall, my point here is to stop complicating things because you feel you’re not good enough. You certainly are good enough. So, stop hating on yourself for not being perfect.

2. Live Honestly

You have no idea how many people I see overcomplicate their lives because they choose to live immorally. Not only does this make them look bad but they feel bad about themselves as well.

When you lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead or benefit yourself in some other way, you complicate things for yourself. You’re always worrying about whether or not you’re going to get caught or whether or not it’s all going to catch up to you—as you should be!

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So, stop living this way. Live morally. Be kind to others and live an honest life. Stop complicating life by being a bad person. Just keep things simple by doing the things that you know are right at your heart and at your core.

3. Communicate Clearly

This is probably one of the most significant ways to remove some of your life’s complexity. Too many people cause problems for themselves simply because they don’t know how to communicate effectively.

They say things they don’t mean or mean things they don’t say, and this creates problems. Nobody is a mind reader, so if what we say isn’t clear, it’s likely going to be misinterpreted and that’s going to cause problems down the line!

If you practice good and clear communication regularly, you’ll notice just how much this impacts your life and the problems that it helps you avoid. Don’t underestimate this crucial skill and just how much it influences your daily life.

4. Stop Being Too Materialistic

Yikes, this is a big one. Far too many of us are driven by the script that society forces on us telling us that we need more of everything.

Quantity is never going to be all that it’s hyped up to be. Quality is always going to be better than quantity. So, instead of trying to hoard everything, seek out quality in the things that you seek to possess—whether that’s materials, friendships, or experiences doesn’t truly matter.

Stop trying to spend money that you don’t have to impress people that you don’t even care about impressing.

Wealth isn’t obtained through material possessions, so manage it wisely. Simply trying to reduce your craving for material possessions will go a long towards reducing the complexity of your lifestyle.

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5. Don’t Waste Time Changing People

If you want to make your life more complex than it’s ever been, start spending your time trying to change and control the people around you. I guarantee they will not appreciate your efforts and will eventually cause you to dislike your own life.

So, stop complicating life by beginning to just accept people for the way that they are. Save yourself the trouble of trying to change and control people who don’t want you to influence them in this way.

Just appreciate them for who they are and if you can’t do that, then maybe it’s time to consider whether or not you should be spending your time with someone else.

6. Reduce Exposure to Toxic People

You truly are the average of the people that you decide to surround yourself with. That’s why it’s important to continually be auditing your social circle.

If you have the choice, spend more time with people who are smart, mature, driven, and kind and less time with the people who are the opposite. This is because one group is going to pull you and your development forward, whereas the other group will hold you back.

That’s not to say you have to avoid these people entirely, you just have to reduce your exposure to them.

Life is quick and if you spend in with the wrong people, you risk ending up with some serious regrets. Additionally, if these people have toxic tendencies, chances are some of the problems in your life stem from them rather than from yourself.

Trust me, you don’t need their help in making your life more difficult or challenging.

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7. Stop Procrastinating Everything

Look, we both know that you do this. We all do it from time to time. But procrastination is one of the biggest stressors that we impose onto ourselves in our lives. And we do it willingly. Why? There’s no good reason for this added stress.

We know that we have to get something done, yet we continually leave it until the last minute. This unnecessarily complicates our lives. So, do whatever it is that you need to do to eliminate procrastination from your life as much as possible.

Make to-do lists, make a schedule, and set deadlines for yourself that are well ahead of when something needs to be completed by. Do whatever you need to do to get things done early.

This way will help you to stop complicating life and get on top of things. And when you’ve finally got everything together, you’ll feel more in control of your life and this will help you to live more fully.

8. Learn How to Say No

Look, you can’t do everything for everyone. If you try to say yes to everyone, you’re going to end up disappointing more people than you please, and you’ll complicate your life in the process.

It’s a lose-lose scenario. You don’t need that in your life.

Ironically, learning how to say no to some people sometimes is going to help you in multiple ways.

First, it’s going to allow you to focus on the people and opportunities that you truly want to spend time on. That will help you to be happier over an average day simply because you’re doing the things that you want to do.

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Second, it’s going to allow you to be more present with those people and opportunities. That will allow you to bring your full self to each situation so you can have the biggest positive impact possible.

So, do yourself a massive favor and stop making all those promises that you either can’t or don’t want to keep. Overcommitting yourself will result in you spreading yourself too thin and that will make you miserable.

9. Focus More on Things You Can Control

Look, life is crazy sometimes. I get it. We all have that craving to control things because it makes us feel better about all that chaos.

However, you could try your entire life and still come nowhere close to controlling all of it. That’s why it’s better to simply begin figuring out what things you can and can’t control. Once you’ve done that you can begin focusing on what you can control.

By focusing your energy on the things you can control, you spare yourself from wasted time and energy trying to control things you have no influence over. Not only will that reduce your stress but it will also be good for your mental health in the long-run.

This is a great way to stop complicating life and begin progressing in the right direction because your energy becomes fixated on the areas that matter.

Final Thoughts

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are countless other ways that you could also stop complicating life to live more fully. These are just some common suggestions that people find useful.

So, pick and choose which of these might make sense to your life. Figure out which ones are going to help you make progress towards reducing stress and complexity.

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You work hard. You owe it to yourself to also live fully.

More Tips on How to Stop Complicating Life

Featured photo credit: Maksym Kaharlytskyi via unsplash.com

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Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Published on June 11, 2021

What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It

What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It

Well-being is a term often utilized in psychology literature to describe healthy individuals. It is often associated with contentment, happiness, or fulfillment. However, there is debate about what well-being really is and even how to spell it.[1] With so much confusion around the definition, individuals are often left to wonder what well-being is and how to achieve it.

This article will unlock the answers to three questions:

  • What is well-being?
  • How is it measured?
  • How is it improved?

What Is Well-Being?

Well-being includes a combination of feeling states and lifestyle factors. Feeling states associated with it may include happiness and contentment. Lifestyle factors may include feelings of fulfillment, achieving one’s potential, having some control in life, and engaging in meaningful relationships. Well-being is also associated with positive mental health.[2] In simpler terms, It is a construct used to describe many facets of life including psychological, physical, and social health. Synonyms for it include happiness, health, positive feelings, welfare, and wellness.[3]

It may also be defined as a state of balance or homeostasis. This balance is achieved by having enough resources to cope with life’s challenges.[4] Both challenges and resources may be prevalent in three areas: physical, psychological, and social.

When there is an abundance of challenges and inadequate resources, well-being is lost. However, humans are designed to work towards achieving a state of balance. Well-being is linked to interpersonal, professional, and personal success. It often results in greater productivity at work, increased learning and creativity, prosocial behavior, and fulfilling relationships.[5]

Why is well-being difficult to define? Likely because it encompasses a variety of life experiences and feeling states that may vary among individuals. To help individuals assess themselves, several measures have been created.

How Is Well-Being Measured?

Researchers need to agree on a standardized definition of well-being to accurately measure it. An adequate measure must therefore encompass every facet of well-being, including as a feeling state as well as a lifestyle. In other words, an effective measurement takes both life satisfaction and functioning into account.

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Well-being can be broken down further into two categories: objective and subjective.

Objective Well-Being

Objective well-being looks at standards of living. This is useful for research looking at cultures, countries, or groups of people. It includes measuring education, income, safety, and life expectancy.[6]

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United National Development Programme, and the Italian Statistics Bureau have identified six areas for study related to objective well-being:

  1. Health
  2. Job opportunities
  3. Socioeconomic development
  4. Politics
  5. Safety
  6. Environment

Subjective Well-Being

Subjective well-being includes an emotional and mental assessment of an individual’s life. Two prominent subjective measures are life satisfaction and happiness. Measuring subjective well-being is useful for predicting mental health patterns.[7] It is determined intrinsically by the individual. Regardless of how their life might be perceived by others on the outside, this measures how individuals feel on the inside.

Subjective well-being can be broken down further into two categories: hedonic and contentment. The hedonic component relates to feelings, emotions, and moods. The contentment component relates to thoughts and whether an individual feels their life has been fulfilling. Individuals often measure their thoughts and life fulfillment against social and cultural backgrounds.

In other words, it is important to consider the context in which an individual lives. Individuals may perceive their lives differently based on social and cultural expectations. Furthermore, individuals cannot be measured without taking their environment into consideration.

In 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development determined subjective well-being to be an important factor in assessing well-being. Because it is perceived by the individual, it is often assessed by self-report measures. In other words, individuals rate their own level of well-being through psychological tests.[8]

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There are five areas associated with subjective well-being:

  1. Genetic factors
  2. Basic and psychological needs
  3. Social environment
  4. Economics and income
  5. Political environment

How to Improve Well-Being

There are many ways that individuals can improve their sense of well-being. It is a complex construct with a variety of factors at play. Therefore, there is no one, perfect solution for it. Instead, the goal should be to engage in a holistic approach the incorporates a variety of factors.

The following methods are not comprehensive. What works well for one individual may not be the right approach for others. Instead, these approaches should be considered suggestions for improving well-being.

Individuals looking for a truly comprehensive assessment of well-being should consider scheduling an appointment with a psychologist, therapist, or medical doctor. These individuals may also provide resources, prescribe medication, or share tips for making lifestyle changes to assist in overall improvement.

1. Spend Time in Nature

There is evidence to support the claim that interactions with nature increase well-being. This includes an increase in positive emotions, happiness, and subjective well-being. Time spent in nature is also linked with an increased sense of meaning and purpose in life as well as the ability to manage challenges in life.[9]

One study found that spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week was associated with greater health. In the study, it did not matter if that time was spent all at once or stretched out over the course of a week. Peak gains in well-being occurred between 200 and 300 minutes of nature time, weekly.[10]

2. Practice Gratitude

Individuals who experience gratitude as a trait experience increased well-being. Trait gratitude refers to the willingness to see the unearned value in one’s experience. State gratitude is a feeling that occurs after individuals experience an act of kindness and, therefore, feel motivated to reciprocate.

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One study assessed state gratitude, during Covid-19 in China. Individuals were instructed to journal while practicing gratitude for 14-days, which included a one-month follow-up. The study found that gratitude practiced in a natural setting during times of increased stress and anxiety resulted in increased positive feelings and increased life satisfaction. However, increased life satisfaction was not sustained after one month.[11]

As a result of the aforementioned study, there is evidence to support a daily practice of journaling and gratitude for increased well-being. Individuals should practice both trait and state gratitude, whenever possible. Over time, these practices will become a habit and lead to lasting improvement.

3. Develop Increased Awareness

Increased awareness is associated with improvements in positive subjective experience, increased self-regulation and goal-directed behavior, and successful interactions with others.

Increased awareness can be attained through meta-awareness. Meta-awareness is the ability to consciously notice an emotion, thought, or sensory experience. It is a skill that can be taught. Mindfulness-based meditation and psychotherapy are two ways in which meta-awareness is learned. Kindness and compassion meditations are both linked with improved well-being. Both Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may help increase awareness.[12]

4. Achieve Work-Life Balance

An individual’s workplace has the potential to either help or harm them. Workplace factors that negatively impact well-being include:

  • Work-related pressure or demands
  • Lack of autonomy or flexibility
  • Poor coworker and supervisor relationships
  • Shift work
  • Longer workday length

Employers can directly improve their workers’ well-being by providing paid leave, opportunities for salary growth, support for individuals with disabilities or those returning after injury, and access to health care. Improvements in the work environment and job structure may also be helpful.[13]

Worker well-being is beneficial both for workers and their employers. It is associated with improvements in:

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  • Performance at work
  • Coping with stress and self-regulation
  • Satisfying relationships, prosocial communication, and cooperation
  • Immune system functioning
  • And physical and psychological health

Workplace well-being is also associated with a decrease in burnout, stress, and sleep-related issues.[14]

5. Seek Out Positive Relationships

Individuals with caring and positive connections often rank higher in well-being. On the flip side, poor social relationships can be more damaging than excessive drinking and smoking. Positive social relationships also help to protect against mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Prosocial behaviors are important for forming social connections that lead to increased well-being. Appreciation and gratitude are both pro-social traits. For example, focusing on the positive qualities and actions of others. Empathy for others also contributes to higher levels of well-being. Lastly, generosity is also a strong predictor of life satisfaction.[15]

6. Stay Hopeful

Hope is a concept often related to spiritual and religious traditions. However, it entered the world of psychology around the 20th century. It is now an important construct in positive psychology. Hope can be defined broadly as the belief that things can get better, and that goals are achievable.

Hope is associated with an increase in:

  • Emotional adjustment
  • Positive feelings
  • Life satisfaction and quality of life
  • Social support
  • A sense of purpose

Takeaways

Well-being is a construct that is hard to define, yet widely cited in psychological literature. It is linked with feelings of happiness and contentment. It might also be described as a sense of purpose or satisfaction with life.

To accurately measure it, there needs to be an agreed-upon definition. In general, it has been separated into objective and subjective categories. Objective well-being considers social and cultural constructs. Subjective well-being refers to the individual’s felt sense and internal assessment of their own.

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There are several things that individuals can do to improve their well-being. However, no one thing will improve everything. Rather, this requires a holistic practice of mental and physical health. Nevertheless, individuals who spend time in nature, develop positive connections, practice gratitude, stay hopeful, and develop awareness have a greater chance of experiencing better well-being.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

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